Segway, the company that brought us those silly-looking self-balancing vehicles commandeered by fearsome parking-meter attendants and mall cops everywhere, is working on its latest invention. It's called the Ninebot Electric Gokart, it's made to drift, and it looks like serious fun.
It's essentially a go kart kit paired with a Ninebot by Segway miniPRO320, an upright, self-balancing vehicle powered by a 310Wh battery and operated by a knee control bar — meaning you essentially get two personal vehicles in one. The kit adds a steering wheel, seat, front bumper and front wheels, and foot and hand brakes, while the miniPRO320 functions as the rear wheels and powertrain.
The Gokart comes with three driving modes — novice, standard and sportive — with a top speed in the latter of 15 mph and a range that tops out at 12.4 miles after a full charge that takes 3.5 hours. And did we mention that the 0-12 mph acceleration comes in a blistering 2 seconds? The frame length and steering wheel height are both adjustable, with a maximum payload of 220 pounds. It also syncs via built-in Bluetooth with a mobile app that displays speed, cruising range and fault reminders in real time.
The company has set up an Indiegogo funding campaign to move the prototype into the production stage and has blown well past its goal of raising $20,000 (as of this writing, it had earned nearly $375,000). You can also cash in on the early-bird pricing of $1,149, a 21 percent discount off its normal $1,450 sticker. Deliveries are estimated to start in November.